I decided Diva Incarnate needed spruced up, and am quite pleased with the 'cheap as press on nails' results. The divas who decorate my banner are as follows (L-R), complete with my suggestions to those unfamiliar to their less obvious highlights:
01. Marie Fredriksson - Reveal (as Roxette)
The original Pink is subdued on the Kleerup remix which is incredibly restful, whilst the Attic edit is more nervous yet no less regal-sounding.
02. Cyndi Lauper - Maybe He'll Know (Special Mix)
Originally a Blue Angel track, the light-footed party spinner Maybe He'll Know was re-recorded for her True Colours album and easily stood out as her strongest chance for a hit single. Poised for release as a fourth single, it was scrapped in favour of the MOR ballad Boy Blue. This 'Special Mix' is widely believed to have been the edit set to go to radio, but eventually saw the light of day as a b-side to the 1989 release I Drove All Night. There can't be many singers able to convey such abandon and giddiness and make it sound like an artform.
03. Cher - Back On The Street Again
Cher unexpectedly delivers a pounding synth-dripping ABBA-sounding stree-walking anthem with an album track taken from I Paralyze.
04. Billie Ray Martin - Eighteen Carat Garbage (Jr. Vasquez Edit)
Watch tragic trannies dancing to it (try telling yourself they are nothing like you and I won't believe you):
05. Alexia - Number One
The Italian dance minstrel's most fully committed euro-thumper managed to be beautiful and brainless at the same time, and that is a compliment.
06. Courtney Love - 20 Years In The Dakotta (as Hole)
The Beautiful Son single's b-side 20 Years In The Dakotta can't hide the singer's Stevie Nicks aspirations, before bursting into recogniseable early Courtney Love gutteral yelps.
07. Belinda Carlisle - (We Want) The Same Thing
An icon of power-pop, it's a pity that her songs are considered either too 'girly' or worse formulaic as her abilities are gigantic.
08. Mylene Farmer - Aime
I was convinced Aime would have been a single as it is my 3rd favourite from the 2005 Avant que l'ombre... album. Mylene's soothing voice is stark, romantic and let's itself be guided into a storm.
09. Siouxsie - Heaven & Alchemy
After-hours torch ballad; the make-up must be sliding down like her man Almond. Siouxsie almost inadvertantly delivers an alternative Christmas song.
10. Dannii Minogue - All I Wanna Do
A cascade of narcissistic agony, glistening eyes and the singer's most plaintive vocal to date: these days Dannii either hisses excess botox (Come & Get It) or gives hope to cancer victims (So Under Pressure). The 'Innocent Girl' version found on Unleashed, which was the original planned single edit, is given a trance makeover and brings out Dannii's expressive side with some rad ad-libs not used on the mainstream cut.
11. Madonna - Rain
It is easy to forget how brilliant Madonna can be; this lush 1993 single still has the power to cleanse all her crimes.
12. Kier Kirby - River of Freedom (as Deee-Lite)
A lost opportunity, this hallucinatory-trance track had the most emphatic melody from the 1994 album Dewdrops In The Garden. Find it on youtube for another trannytastic dance routine (once you look; what is up with the Gays giving a rubbish tranny strip money? Ew).
13. Gina G - Everytime I Fall (Metro Dance Mix)
Thirst quenching 90s remix that gives Gina her very own Freed From Desire moment with an Italo-piano keys middle-eight: par excellence!
14. Gala - Different Kind of Love
Cheekbones galore, my favourite barmy dance singer with ambiguous bissexual vibes oozing euphorically from every pore. This is more of a chugging guitar stomper, but I smell potential of Holly Vallance Desire proportions. Gala was not allowed to perform new material at a recent Belgian concert celebrating the finest 90s euro-dance artists; not to be told what to do, she still used the rehearsal time as an opportunity to shoot footage to accompany her secret weapon from the forthcoming album Tough Love. See galasound.com for details.
15. Dana International - Betula
Gorgeous piano-ladden momentum, sung softly like an Arabian lullaby, sporadic English is woven through and a Suzanne Vega reference. Because of the language barrier, Dana's music is largely inpenetrable to markets outside of the Hebrew domain, yet this is a stunning ride that makes one feel like a post-divorce Princess Jasmin from Alladin getting ready for a night on the tiles.
Edit: the formatting is a little wack with the font size in places which I have tried and failed to fix.